Carbonate Mountain A  
Condition Updates  
Route: Carbonate/Cyclone/Lo Carb/Grizzly from Cyclone Cre
Posted On: 2022-06-30, By: JasonKline
Info: Did the Carbonate/Cyclone/Lo Carb/Grizzly loop from Cyclone Creek. The entire route was free of snow and ice. I'd like to reiterate, as others have stated, how dangerous and loose the descent is from Lo Carb to the saddle with Grizzly. It's more like something from one of the nastier Elks than the Sawatch. My foot barely grazed a refrigerator-sized rock, causing that rock and others to go sailing for several hundred feet. The rest of the route is nice and solid. 
Route: Via Jennings Creek
Posted On: 2021-10-10, By: LetsGoMets
Info: Opted to get Carbonate and Cyclone from Jennings Creek vs. Cyclone Creek. Jennings Creek Trail is in great shape, easy to follow and mostly snow-free to the 12,600' saddle with Carb/Tab. From there, powdery snow and loose rock to the summit of Carbonate on ridge and north aspects. On the descent I did a short-cut from around 13,000' on the ridge into a dirt gulley and down into the basin to meet up with the Jennings Creek trail. Brought traction but never put it on. Rusty tin can on the top but no register. 
Route: from Cyclone Creek TH
Posted On: 2021-07-10, By: mijoflynn
Info: Chaffee County 240 is rough above the Angel of Shavano campground -- it took about 30 minutes to drive the 5 miles to the Cyclone Creek TH, which is just an unmarked pulloff. But I made it without scraping the skid plates on my Cherokee Trailhawk (same clearance as a Subaru, 8.7", but better angles). I did Carbonate --> Cyclone --> "Lo Carb" --> Cronin, taking pretty much the same route as the one in rajz06's TR, except that I turned and started up Carbonate almost immediately. Summer conditions the whole way. On the return trip, you have to resummit "Lo Carb" (no big deal) and Cyclone (a drag -- its north side is steep and loose). Then you have a choice: resummit Carbonate and go down the way you came up, or descend west down a gully and follow the creek back to the TH. For anyone who's thinking about this route, I'd suggest biting the bullet and going back over Carbonate. The gully is so long and so loose, and the "trail" (if you can find it) is so overgrown and so covered with deadfall, that taking that way down is going to be just as much effort as reclimbing the extra 400'. The forest in that valley is in really bad shape -- more beetlekill than I've seen anywhere else in CO. 10 miles, ~4500'. Hazy today -- couldn't see very far. No one else on any of the four peaks. 
Route: Cyclone Creek
Posted On: 2021-05-30, By: angry
Info: Carbonate>Cyclone>Lo Carb>Grizzly Route is dry from th to Carbonate summit. Completed loop in approach shoes. Did not use traction/flotation. 
3
Route: Jennings Creek
Posted On: 2020-06-22, By: montanahiker
Info: From the Carbonate-Tabeguache saddle: Steep and loose rock but it stays Class 2 the entire way. Stay just right of the ridge until you are about 2/3 of the way to the false summit and then gradually drift right where you'll pick up tundra to the top. 
Route: Little Browns
Posted On: 2020-06-13, By: dwoodward13
Info: Loop up Little Browns, down Browns. Hit White->Cronin->Lo Carb->Cyclone->Carbonate. Full summer conditions. Descended Cyclone/Carb saddle. Glissade opportunity if you want, otherwise you can stick to rocks. There is a old mining road that will pretty painlessly lead you to the active 4x4 road to Browns Lake. It's visible on satellite views. 
Route: South Slopes
Posted On: 2020-05-23, By: WildWanderer
Info: Easily made my top 5 for worst scree/rubble conditions on ascent. Snow was avoidable from Trailhead to Summit. There's been an avalanche in the area around 11400' making for some fun route finding (might be from last year). 
3 2
Route: SSE gorge
Posted On: 2019-07-25, By: Mark 13+14er hiker
Info: Road 240 closed just beyond Angel of Shavano Campground due to extensive avalanche debris just above 10,400 feet (this added nearly 8 miles round-trip and a little less than 1600 feet of elevation gain and loss to my ascent, compared to starting at "Cyclone Creek Trailhead"). Reportedly, it will be cleared by mid August. Lots of avalanche felled trees near the bottom of the SSE gorge, many of which appeared fresh, with fresh green leaves sprouting from felled aspen. Lots of deadfall in the areas of the old closed road/trail between the trailhead and base of the gorge. In the worst area, I advise bypassing uphill, I went downhill, strayed too far from the trail, and had some nasty bushwhacking to join the trail again. It seemed easy to stay on the trail on the way back down to County Road 240, making the descent of this area much easier and faster. The gorge has the usual steep scree and some talus. This was quite unstable above treeline on the side of the gorge. Several snowfields in the upper reaches of the gorge.These made for a quicker descent, but observe carefully on the way up. The largest snowfield had a large drop off at its lower end, so exit early if you go there soon. The snow was a nice consistency, moderately firm granular snow, perfect for walking with boots (no post-holing, and did not require kicking steps; I did use snow for a short segment of my ascent). On descent, I used long strides, sliding 6-12 inches extra with each step, using trekking poles with snow baskets to control my descent. It probably could be boot skied at this point, but I have a bad knee, and was alone… I had hoped to traverse to/ascend more peaks north of Carbonate, but the road closure and afternoon thunderstorms put an end to that possibility, despite an early start. 
1
Route: Jennings Creek TH
Posted On: 2018-07-05, By: denvermikey
Info: Summer conditions of course. In fact this is my 4th time in this basin and it is the driest conditions I have seen by far. Follow the west ridge Tabeguache route to the 12,600' saddle. From here turn left and head up the ridge. This ridge is no joke. Class 2/2+ for sure with lots of loose rock. Not terribly difficult route finding - basically follow ridge proper or off to the right somewhat - but plenty of talus and scree to deal with. Summit is an easy walk off to right of top of ridge. Nice summit with great views. On the way down there were a few spots where we remarked, 'we came up this crap??' Also on the descent there are a couple 'short-cut' gullies off to the right that look tempting to try. I would not advise unless in full snow. Photo 1 point of view doesn't do the ridge justice. Looks pretty tame. Photo 2 gives an idea of the type of rock you deal with on a majority of this part of the ascent. I am not trying to scare anyone away from this great peak, just be prepared for what it really is. 
2
Route: Cyclone Creek
Posted On: 2018-06-03, By: cudzoo1088
Info: Dry all the way up! Faint segments of trail above tree line. Road to Cyclone Creek is dry for the most part but it's a bumpy ride. The ridge to Tab looks to be prime too. 
4
Route: South Ridge to Grizzly
Posted On: 2016-06-18, By: illusion7il
Info: All clear, however there is a large rut in the road (240) a quarter mile past the Angel of Shavano campground. This added an extra 4 miles each way...Minimal and mostly avoidable snow on the ridge run all the way to Grizzly. 

Return to the main Peak Conditions page
© 2022 14ers.com®, 14ers Inc.